It would be easy to believe that it was the US inauguration that had made us sit up and pay attention to poetry again. But while there’s no question Amanda Gorman’s The Hill We Climb offered a major cultural moment, she didn’t start the wave. Back in 2019, sales of poetry books hit an all-time high. And the biggest consumers? Women under 34. 


Frankly, I’m not surprised. Poetry is a great way of exploring complicated emotions and, as we all navigate the hellscape our timelines have become, filled with news of death, disaster and racism, poetry is an escape, even if just for a moment. Instagram has also made it more accessible than ever to share, read and explore prose. 


Ready to get back into poetry? Here are a few of our favourites.


Hollie McNish

Image: Instagram @HolliePoetry


Darkly comedic and fearlessly forthright, McNish tackles everything from childcare to cupcakes with her trademark rhythm and Scottish lilt. With a series of books and awards to her name, McNish might be well-known, but she continues to be a relatable voice in the poetry community.


Find her here


Afshan D’souza-Lodhi

Image: Instagram @Afshandl


Boldy approaching a variety of topics, D’souza-Lodhi can silence a room with a word. While I recommend watching her perform for the full experience, picking up one of her collections is a close second. Deftly exploring identity and sexuality with her trademark wit and heart, it’s hard to find anything not to love about her work. 


Find her here


Charlie Brogan 

Image: Instagram @CharlieBlergh


Brogan’s work tends to focus on the idea of womanhood, celebrating femininity in a way that feels really unique. While we’re patiently waiting on her debut collection, her Instagram is a great space to fall back in love with the written word. 


Find her here


Warsan Shire

Image: Instagram @WarsanShiree


You might already know Warsan Shire from Beyoncé’s Lemonade or her award-winning collections. If you don’t, though, prepare to fall in love. A natural storyteller, Shire brings something incredibly unique to her work. 


Find her here


Catriona Innes

Image: Instagram @Catreenaah


Best known for her journalism and her debut novel, The Matchmaker, Innes has quickly gained a cult following for her poetry too. Exploring heavy issues with delicate words is her speciality, and we particularly love her more recent spoken word series. We’re hopeful that a debut poetry collection will follow soon. 


Find her here


Eleanor Hancock 

Image: Instagram @DYakKnowWhatIMean


Hancock’s work is akin to your best friend telling you a story in a crowded pub. Proudly Northern, she has an uncanny ability to create rhythm in her work. While she hasn’t got a collection as of yet, her street poetry is a must-read. 


Find her here


Andreena Leeanne

Image: Instagram @PoetryLGBT


As someone who has been lucky enough to see Leeanne perform, her work is the sort that silences whatever space she enters. Exploring mental health, queerness and sexual assault, Leeanne approaches each line with such care and poignancy. A bold voice and one that must be heard.


Find her here


Chloe Grace Laws

Image: Instagram @ChloeGraceLaws


Laws might be best known for founding FGRLS club, but her poetry is yet another reason to follow. Laws’ lyrical style of writing is always exciting to read and while she doesn’t have a collection out as of yet, we’re hoping it won’t be too long.


Find her here


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